Tight control of the intracellular uracil level is believed to be important to reduce the occurrence of uracil incorporation into DNA. The pyrG gene of Aspergillus nidulans encodes orotidine 5′-phosphate decarboxylase, which catalyzes the conversion of orotidine monophosphate (OMP) to uridine monophosphate (UMP). In this study, we found that pyrG is critical for maintaining uracil at a low concentration in A. nidulans cells in the presence of exogenous uracil. Excess uracil and its derivatives had a stronger inhibitory effect on the growth of the pyrG89 mutant with defective OMP decarboxylase activity than on the growth of wild type, and induced sexual development in the pyrG89 mutant but not in wild type. Analysis of transcriptomic responses to excess uracil by digital gene expression profiling (DGE) revealed that genes related to sexual development were transcriptionally activated in the pyrG89 mutant but not in wild type. Quantitative analysis by HPLC showed that the cellular uracil level was 6. 5 times higher in the pyrG89 mutant than in wild type in the presence of exogenous uracil. This study not only provides new information on uracil recycling and adaptation to excess uracil but also reveals the potential effects of OMP decarboxylase on fungal growth and development.
- orotidine 5′-phosphate decarboxylase
- sexual development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Environmental Science(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)